Mitsui Life, Japan, applies the latest industry-wide tariffs

November 2018

The Institute of Actuaries of Japan announced this year a revision to the Standard Mortality Table, which was approved by the Financial Services Agency to take effect from April 2018. In the new table, average life expectancy has increased by over 1 year since the last revision in 2007.

Most insurers have changed their life insurance tariffs (premium levels) to comply with the new table, which led to the decrease of life insurance premiums by roughly 15-20%. The exact percentage depends on the size of client.

It is intended to increase the competition but, at the same time, clients continuously expect improved services on an ongoing basis. How can this balance be achieved?

According to Sumiri Hara, Senior Manager at Mitsui Life, although the industry faces cost drivers - such as increasing life expectancy - there are also cost savings to be made to help achieve that balance.

“IT services are replacing humans in many areas. In the past, everything was done on paper, therefore we can reduce our administration cost thanks to the IT development,” explains Sumiri.

“Also, our pricing strategy made it possible for us to launch a group life product with the new tariff,  the premiums for which are mostly lower than those offered by our competitors.  

“We organise regular meetings with brokers and clients to communicate and promote the change of tariffs, and to also share insights to help expand the business.

“IT is of course important but relationship building is indispensable in the industry. In order to provide professional services in an efficient way, Mitsui Life has a dedicated team who are very much experienced in working with brokers and foreign multinationals in Japan.”

Mitsui Life has been a part of the GEB Network since 1971, just five years after the Network was created. What does this relationship bring to Mitsui Life?

“We feel we are a family. The economic situation has changed a lot over the years but the relationship is maintained and even strengthened” says Sumiri.

“Being a part of the Network helps us develop Japanese business out of Japan as well as inside. Multinational pooling capabilities help with this. GEB has about 400 pools in total and over 12% of these are Japanese pools. Major multinationals in Japan are interested in pooling with GEB.”